Pumpkin and Pecan Muffins

The past few weeks have been quite busy for us. We both were HEAVILY involved in Bill’s sister’s wedding. Bill was her “man of honor”, I was the bridal party makeup artist, and also helped out with whatever I could. I even got to make a few batches of tasty gluten free cookies for the famous “Pittsburgh Cookie Table”. A cookie table is one Pittsburgh wedding tradition that Bill and I will not partake in, but it is always a fun sight to see a table covered in hundreds of homemade cookies.
Nellie’s wedding was like a fairy tale. She is a hard working attorney in Boston, and how she managed to find time in her schedule to plan such a beautiful wedding is beyond me. Everything was perfect and quite classy. This chick really has impeccable taste. I tried not to take too many mental notes. I mean I can’t really copy my future sister-in-law’s wedding, but this wedding was one of the most beautiful weddings I have ever attended, and I would be lying if I said I wouldn’t recreate almost every bit of it for my own one day.

The day of the wedding was a long one for us. I say us, because as the MoH (Man of Honor), Bill got to hang around and experience wedding day from the girls perspective. As some of you men may not know, the ladies get up at the crack of dawn to head to the salon to start all the beauty prep for this important day. Yes, we are having our hair curled, pulled, and pinned, and our faces poked and painted while you boys are sleeping in, golfing, lounging, or doing who knows what else for half the day. Poor Bill was dragged along with me to hang with all the chicks. He is a good sport however, and I know that it meant the world to him to be with his little sister throughout her whole day.

Bill and I woke up extra early so that we could make breakfast to bring to the salon with us. We wanted the bridal party to be well fed with nutritious food to keep everyone’s energy balanced throughout the long day, having your hair and makeup done for hours is exhausting you know. Our breakfast menu consisted of a vegetable fritata, fresh fruit, and grain free muffins with an optional apple butter spread. We were more than happy to get up early to make this meal. Weddings only happen once (hopefully), and we really wanted every second of this day to be perfect for Nellie.

The muffins I made for the big day were a hit. I chose a pumpkin and pecan recipe since the wedding was the week before Thanksgiving. The flavors were wonderful, and the crunch of the pecans were the perfect texture contrast to the soft, moist muffins. These muffins are one that we will have around Thanksgiving for years to come, and they will always bring back special memories of trying not to fall asleep while your stylist is blowing dry your hair at 8 am (kidding/not really).


  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 6 eggs
  • 6 medjool dates, pitted and mashed with 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice blend
  • 1 cup chopped raw pecans
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium sized mixing bow, combine eggs, vanilla, pumpkin puree, salt, baking soda, and pumpkin pie spice. Blend with a hand mixer until smooth.
  3. Add coconut flour to batter, and continue to blend.
  4. In a small bowl, add pitted medjool dates, cover with 1 tablespoon of water and heat in the microwave for 30 seconds. Mash the dates with a fork, add another tablespoon of water, and mash again.
  5. Add date mixture and melted coconut oil to the mixing bowl, and blend until smooth.
  6. Stir in the chopped pecans.
  7. Place cupcake papers into a muffin tray, and fill each paper cup 3/4 full of batter.
  8. Bake muffins at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.
  9. Serve with apple butter if desired. Makes 12 muffins.
Congratulations Nellie and Chris. We couldn’t be happier for the both of you! You deserve all the best!
[Photo by Bill Staley – Check out Nellie’s AMAZING photographer, Heather. She will have a photo set up on her blog within a week or so. It will be worth checking back!]
As always, enjoy.
Primal Palate Spice Blends

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    1. November 22, 2011

      For the past month, since I started Paleo, I have been lamenting my pumpkin muffins. I am super excited to have this recipe now. I'm going to make them TOMORROW!

    2. November 22, 2011

      This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. November 22, 2011

      I'm so happy you guys posted this recipe! I have been craving them since our early morning at the Salon! Thanks again for such a delicious breakfast!

    4. November 23, 2011

      Hmmm… I made these for my kids for Thanksgiving morning, along w some apple butter. When I tasted them I was surprised they weren't very sweet at all, then I looked back & saw there isn't any maple syrup (or alternative sweetener)! These are nice but not as sweet as I expected, which kind of helps when I'm making them for the kiddos. I really love the other pumpkin muffin recipe you have & make that one all the time!

    5. November 23, 2011

      Hi Trisha-

      The dates in the muffins are what we used to sweeten the muffins. They are muffins, not cupcakes so they are not meant to be as sweet (but they are very sweet with just the dates-dates contain a lot of natural sugar!). If you really want them sweet like cupcakes you can use 1/2 cup of maple syrup and omit the dates. We kept them less sweet because with the added apple butter that would be a lot of sugar!

      The other pumpkin recipe we have are mini cakes with maple syrup, so they are much sweeter. Those are not muffins.

    6. December 1, 2011

      After trying this and the carrot souffle, i added your book to my Christmas list. The dates in this didnt break up a lot when i mashed and blended them, though. I may use a little bit of honey or maple syrup instead next time. Just enough to barely sweeten.

    7. December 4, 2011

      I made these this morning and I feel these have a lot of potential. They are a bit bland, and I think I would use a full cup of the pumpkin puree, as you can't even taste the pumpkin in the muffins, plus it'll add the flavor it needs (in my opinion only). The sweetness is just right, as mentioned above muffins aren't supposed to be overly sweet. I like the added dates touch, very good idea to add them to the recipe.

      I'll definitely be making these again but with the full can of pumpkin.

      Thanks for the recipe!

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